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San Francisco in literature

Oslo, Norway
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San Francisco in literature

Hi, all,

to prepare for my visit, I would like to read some fiction related to San Francisco. I am familiar with Armistead Maupin and his Tales of the City, but I have a feeling there must be much more San Francisco-related literature out there. Any recommendations?

las vegas
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1. Re: San Francisco in literature

Anything by Dashiell Hammett would be good, but the Maltese Falcon is especially recommended, since there is a plaque showing the location of an important fictional event in that book on a little alley off of Bush Street, near Stockton.

San Francisco...
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2. Re: San Francisco in literature

"Mama's Bank Account" by Kathryn Forbes

I've never read the book, but it was the basis for the film, "I remember Mama" about a Norwegian family in San Francisco of the 1900s.

"SOMA" by Kenble Scott

This is a fictional account of the South of Market neighborhood that boomed and busted with the .com bubble. (I never finished it.)

There are literally thousands of books about San Francisco. If you go to Amazon and put in San Francisco, it will let you narrow by subject, such as history or fiction. The two above are the ones that came to my mind following Armistead Maupin's. I couldn't grab the link at work, but there's a great interactive google map at http://www.armisteadmaupin.com that pinpoints locations from the book within the city.

San Francisco...
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3. Re: San Francisco in literature

The world famous City Lights bookstore has some good recommendations:

www.citylights.com/catalog/?category_id=262

Dallas, Texas
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4. Re: San Francisco in literature

It's not literature, but Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock is filled with many images of San Francisco, and I love the story. It always gets me in the mood to go to San Francisco.

Los Angeles
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5. Re: San Francisco in literature

Dave Eggers's A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius takes place partly in contemporary San Francisco (well, a few years back). You could read the San Francisco (and Berkeley) parts. Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club divides its settings between San Francisco (mostly) and China.

Pacific Grove...
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6. Re: San Francisco in literature

One of my favorite books is The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer. It's an intriguing, well-written story--it would appear that Greer stole the premise from F. Scott Fitzgerald's story about Benjamin Button (movie of same name with Brad Pitt a few years ago), but I think that Greer's book is much better than the Fitzgerald story or the movie. Anyway, I digress: Max Tivoli is set in turn-of-the-century San Francisco, and Greer does an amazing job of bringing the city to life. There are also scenes in which the characters take the train to Monterey (the train no longer comes to Monterey, unfortunately) and stay at the huge hotel, which is now still the centerpiece of the Naval Postgraduate School campus, but no longer a hotel. In its heyday, the hotel welcomed many movie stars, and the story goes that Jean Harlow used to swim in its pool naked.

Edited: 08 October 2010, 20:29
Easton, Pa.
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7. Re: San Francisco in literature

James Pattersons - Womens Murder Club, with Detective Seargent Lindsay Boxer . All 9 books to date are set in and around San Francisico

Coronado, California
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8. Re: San Francisco in literature

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill by Mark Bittner, The Maltese Falcon by Dashell Hammett (be sure to have a drink at John's Grill), Daughter of Joy by Joann Levy, The Man With the Heart in the Highlands by William Saroyan, The Measure of a Lady: A Novel by Deeanne Gist.

I really like the older stuff that goes back to San Francisco early days and the gold rush era and some of the writings from back then as well.

Fremont, California
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9. Re: San Francisco in literature

You may be interested in this web site

www.sanfranciscoshop.com/pages/books.html

San Francisco, Ca
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10. Re: San Francisco in literature

I've recently discovered the police/lawyer procedurals (basically, detective stories) of John Lescroart, set in modern SF. The one I'm currently reading starts with the Victorian houses of Postcard Row burning down!